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Editorial: Changes Worth Making

Trying something new can be difficult, but the effort is worth the reward.

Editorial: Changes Worth Making
(Tim Kent photo)

Most longtime bowhunters have owned their fair share of bows, and just about everyone has a few all-time favorites.

Thinking back over my nearly three decades in archery, a handful of memorable bows come to mind. My very first hunting bow — a used PSE Mach 8 — will always hold a special place in my heart. Other rigs I favored over the years include a PSE Scorpion, Bowtech Admiral and Hoyt Carbon Element. I was even a big fan of the Mathews NO CAM HTR, a 2015 model widely panned as being too slow; but I loved it for its uber-smooth draw and consistent accuracy.

Bows are certainly a matter of personal taste, and what qualifies as a “shooter” to one archer may not be appreciated by another. That said, once you find a bow you really love, it is common to shoot it for many years. After a while, a favorite bow feels like an extension of your body, and the confidence that comes from carrying such a trusty sidekick into the field is deadly.

Still, there’s a big difference between being comfortable with your bowhunting equipment and being stuck in your comfort zone. Shooting a favorite bow (I’m talking compounds here, not traditional tackle) for five years or even a decade is one thing; shooting it for a lifetime is another altogether. Technology in the compound bow world advances rapidly, and those who refuse to embrace change rob themselves of the benefits those high-tech advancements offer.

As much as I loved all the bows I mentioned, I don’t shoot them anymore. As great as they seemed back in the day, all I have to do is pick one up and launch a couple arrows to be reminded of just how far ahead today’s top bows are compared to those we idolized in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Keep that in mind as you peruse the 2024 Gear Special. From bows that are faster, lighter, quieter and steadier on target to bow accessories designed to enhance your overall shooting experience to cutting-edge new camo patterns, ultralight saddles and stands, feature-rich cellular game cameras and more, you are bound to discover some new items destined to become old favorites in your hunting arsenal.

It seems fitting this annual issue full of “new bowhunting stuff” also marks my debut column as Bowhunter editor-in-chief. Make no mistake; being named just the fourth editor in the magazine’s 53-year history is a tremendous opportunity and a distinct honor. I owe a debt of gratitude to OSG’s Executive Leadership and Publisher Jeff Waring for entrusting me with this responsibility. I also acknowledge the talented predecessors who paved my path — Founder M. R. James, the late, great Dwight Schuh and current Editor-At-Large & Bowhunter TV Host Curt Wells — and will strive to uphold the high standard they set.

For the past 15 years, I served as editor of Petersen’s Bowhunting, and there’s no doubt that Outdoor Sportsman Group’s recent decision to merge Bowhunting and Bowhunter into a single brand makes perfect sense in today’s highly competitive media environment. The move results in a bigger, better Bowhunter, uniquely positioned to serve our beloved community with an unrivaled lineup and expanded reach across print, digital, social media and television platforms. As we move forward, our mission is to maintain the essence of what makes Bowhunter great while sprinkling in the best of what we did at Bowhunting, mainly in the form of practical, how-to bowhunting advice and technical gear reviews.

Much like the first few arrows launched from a new bow bought to replace an old, reliable rig, it may take the combined editorial team a few issues to “dial it in” to the bull’s-eye and re-establish a comfort level. But as with any change worth making, I am confident any short-term pain will be well worth the long-term gain. I am equally confident the future of Bowhunter is bright, and we couldn’t be happier to have you along for the adventure!




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